Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

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In honor of National Trails Day yesterday, the tots and I visited Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. The white sandstone contrasted beautifully with deep red rock in the landscape around the park, evoking a welcoming yet desolate feel.

We entered the Valley of the Goblins from the steps on the north end of the picnic overlook. Our descent into the world of red rock hoodoos was quick, even for the tots. Red rock goblins stood in clusters in a wide valley, providing the perfect conditions for child size bouldering and the best game of hide and seek you’ve ever played. On the valley floor we traveled at typical toddler pace – either stopped to examine a tiny bug or plant or on a full tilt sprint toward the next exciting area.

The great thing about Goblin Valley State Park was that the tots varied speed didn’t matter one bit. With so many interesting rock formations to look at both me and the tots were entertained whether we were moving or standing still.  As anyone attempting to hike with kids knows, this is very rare.
Usually I’m ready to move on while the tots dawdle for what feels like eternity. Because of this I’m awarding Goblin Valley State Park a five star rating. Good work Valley of the Goblins! You were a really fun visit.

Scrambling among the goblin hoodoos was the highlight of the trip for Big E. While racing with little g and me among the formations, he excitedly declared, “This is the best hiking place anyone ever builded!”

Not only are the hoodoos great for exploring, the view of the entire valley is truly remarkable.  It felt like I was overlooking the landscape of Mars instead of the remote Utah wilderness. We chose the best time of year to visit as well since wildflowers and cacti all around the park were in beautiful bloom.


Goblin Valley State Park boasts a small campground, visitors center and picnic area overlooking the hoodoos. That’s it. If you’re planning to camp there may I suggest you do what we did and find a secluded spot on the BLM land that surrounds the park. Dirt roads divert off the main drag in several places leading to unique primitive camping opportunities at the base of gorgeous red rock and sandstone cliffs. But be prepared, cell phone reception is non-existent and grocery stores and gas stations are many miles away.

Rating: 5 stars
Difficulty: Easy on the ground, little elevation change
Length: between 0-2 miles depending on your route
Tips: Bring lots of water, and a picnic lunch. You are in the desert and there’s no McDonalds around the corner.

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Author: Mountain Mom

Hi! I'm Mountain Mom. I live with my husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah. When we're not hiking, biking, skiing and camping, I spend my time doing Mom stuff and reading. Summer of 2016 we traveled over 7,000 miles along the US National Park to Park Highway.

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